Federal Cabinet rejects Sindh’s nominee for new Police Chief
PPP accuses Imam of leaking JIT reports
By Uzma Zafar
ISLAMABAD: The federal cabinet on Tuesday decided against appointing Mushtaq Mahar as the Sindh inspector general of police (IGP) after cabinet members from the province expressed strong reservations over the matter.
According to Special Assistant to Prime Minister on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan, Prime Minister Imran Khan directed Sindh Governor Imran Ismail to once again discuss names for the new IGP with Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah.
Briefing the media about the federal cabinet’s meeting, Awan said, “After consultation between the prime minister and Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah, Mushtaq Mahar’s name had been suggested [in the cabinet] for the Sindh IGP position but cabinet members from the province strongly opposed the idea.
“Keeping in mind the majority view, the prime minister has asked the Sindh governor to discuss the matter with the province’s chief minister.
“The two will hold discussions on the other names suggested for the IGP position as well as new names so that a consensus can be reached on the matter,” Awan
said. On Tuesday evening, the incumbent Sindh IGP Dr Kaleem Imam flew to Islamabad, where he is expected to meet Prime Minister Imran on Wednesday afternoon, a source from Sindh police told newsmen. The source further said that the premier has summoned the police chief in the wake of the Sindh cabinet’s decision to replace him and to explain the charges levelled against him by the province’s chief minister.
Earlier in the day, Sindh Information Minister Saeed Ghani had, with much surety, said that Imam would be replaced today.
“There is no deadlock between Sindh and the Centre over the matter and we are expecting that the IGP will be removed today,” Ghani had said while talking to newsmen. The comment had come after Sindh IGP Imam, while addressing the inauguration ceremony of the Sindh Police Martyrs Memorial at Central Police Office (CPO) in Karachi, had said that he would not be transferred from his position so easily, adding that a “big conspiracy” was being staged against him. “The impression being created is that I have been transferred and this ceremony has been transformed into a transfer ceremony. I would like to say that I will not be transferred that easily,” Imam had said. The Sindh inspector general said that when he does go, it will not be a transfer in fact “it will be a new evolution”.
“I will transcend on to new stages,” he added.
Yesterday, Prime Minister Imran Khan not only cancelled his scheduled visit to the CPO but also gave a “positive gesture” to Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah’s request for replacing Imam.
The prime minister and provincial chief minister had met at the Governor House and after their meeting many believed that the weeks-long rift between the Centre and the province had almost come to an end and chances that Imam would continue to hold the office of the IGP had become bleak. The supposed shift in the federal government’s stance had come after Islamabad had categorically told the Sindh government that it would not unilaterally repatriate or transfer IG Imam.
The establishment division in a letter to the Sindh chief secretary had stated that giving charge of the inspector general of police (IGP) to an additional IG would not be compatible with a 1993 agreement between the federal government and federating units.
Earlier, the Sindh government in its January 16 letter to the establishment secretary had stated that “till the time a new IGP is posted, the government of Sindh will assign look-after charge of the post of IGP to an additional IGP (BS-21) currently working in the province”.
However, in response to the province’s letter, the federal government in its letter dated January 17 pointed out that “the look-after charge of the post of IGP Sindh cannot be assigned to any additional IGP of police working in the province being not covered under the inter-provincial agreement of 1993”.
Meanwhile, the Sindh High Court on January 20 ordered for Imam to not be removed from his post until the federal government replies to the provincial government on the matter.
Sindh Minister for Information, Archives and Labor Saeed Ghani while welcoming the workers of the MQM for joining Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) has said that important figures of the metropolitan would also join the PPP soon. He expressed hope that these workers who had joined the PPP would play their role in ending the politics of division and polarization. The provincial minister said this while addressing a press conference on Tuesday. Apart from MQM East workers, the workers of PSP, ANP and APMSO who announced to quit their parties and join PPP were present during the press conference.
Saeed Ghani said that Karachi’s election should be transparent and its results should be acceptable to everyone. Provincial Minister for Information said that politics in Karachi was troublesome and that weaklings should stay away from it. He said that people had always been imposed as the representatives of Karachi, but the true representatives of Karachi were never allowed to represent their people.
Answering a question, the Provincial Minister for Information said that on the issue of Inspector General of Police, Sindh the point of view of Sindh government was being endorsed as Syed Kaleem Imam was involved more in politics then in his profession. The provincial Minister for information said that five inspector general of police had been replaced in Punjab and the same had happened in KP, but when it come to Sindh, people started censuring it without any logic. He said that members of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) in Sindh were politicizing the legitimate issue of the replacement of IG, Sindh.
Responding to another question, Saeed Ghani welcomed the court’s directives a propos making the reports of the Joint Investigation Teams public. Provincial Minister for Information said that people had already read the reports of the JITs which were related to Uzair Baloch and Nisar Morai.
Talking about the meeting of the Prime Minister and Chief Minister Sindh, Saeed Ghani said that the meeting held in a very pleasant atmosphere. Provincial Minister for Information said that the meeting discussed the possibilities of serving the people by cooperating each other. He said that the Chief Minister Sindh discussed with the Prime Minister about wheat crisis besides Polio, and Chrona virus, locusts’ attack on crops and other important issues. In addition to this, the Chief Minister informed the Prime Minister about the delay in release of funds by the federal government.